Exactly two weeks after coming to stay at the Pineapple House, a horde of demons was rebuked from our friend.
But let me back up, because there’s a lot happening around here.
Swing dancing, Thursday night, 301 Main Street.
The dance floor is a whirl of colorful skirts and bright shoes. I have dreadlocks.
A girl I’ve met a few times thought I was Rastafarian-spiritual until she heard from a mutual friend that I went to the YWAM base in Hawaii and learned I love Jesus.
So she asked me about my healing trip. We abandoned the floor for the stage and talked for an hour, and I learned she was going to Colorado at the new year to stay a couple months.
“If you can,” Ellecia suggested, “come out and see me.”
“I’ll ask the Spirit,” I responded.
Nearly two months later, I drove from Minneapolis to Boulder.
I took the high-plain route of South Dakota, sleeping for a few hours in a rest area in Wyoming.
On the road again at dawn, the rising sun flickered between table tops on my left and cast blue shadows on the snow-capped mountains on my right.
In the open spaces of my heart, I felt contentment, excitement, purpose. The kind of feeling I imagine you must get when you find the thing you want to do for the rest of your life.
And I knew this girl I was going to visit was supposed to come back to Minnesota with me.
After three intense days of cracking one another open,
learning pieces of each other’s history,
listening to each other’s current struggles,
calling out each other’s strengths and destinies,
we decided with God that Ellecia would fly back to Minnesota in a couple weeks.
The girls back home still didn’t know that a virtual stranger was moving into the house. Friends in Colorado didn’t expect her to leave so quickly. But we both felt so strongly that details had to be laid aside so we could get to the heart of the matter.
The Spirit had prepared the way this far, after all.
Ellecia came on a Thursday evening, as Ashley, Liv, Amy, and Eli lounged in the living room. We cut a pineapple and opened wine and listened to songs about home.
After day 1 followed two weeks of debilitating warfare that hammered the house, which mostly reinforced our belief that we were in the will of the Father.
Our friend Hailee (who I went to see in Hawaii) was enroute from the Island after six months away, and I kept hearing equalizer, stabilizer.
She arrived with fire and conviction, and a love that could level Minneapolis. And indeed, intention to do just that.
She prayed release and sealing over the house, and instructed us to walk with the Holy Spirit regarding the enemy’s onslaught on Ellecia’s life.
Two days after her touchdown, and two weeks after Ellecia’s move-in, I went upstairs to our attic bedroom to touch base with Ellecia before the squad showed up for prayer and worship.
As was customary to our friendship, we joined hands to pray. I’m coming for you, God said. Wait for me.
We’d barely begun when Ellecia interrupted me. “I have to tell you that I’m carrying a dark spirit.”
It was her first acknowledgment of the reality. Ten minutes later, she and I gathered in the attic stairwell with Hailee and Ashley, and Hailee took charge. It was her and Ellecia’s first meeting.
For an hour we prayed, Hailee walking Ellecia through rebuking and renouncing in Jesus’ name. I watched her body twitch and convulse as each spirit was forced out, demons of generations and specific spirits hounding her, watched her eyes widen as veils lifted and the Spirit brought sight.
I watched her fight for herself, submitting to Jesus through tears and repentance, and in an honesty that instilled reverence in me.
We all participated in sealing up her freedom as joy filled the places in her that were emptied.
We had a book burning in the barbeque pit in the backyard and then we joined Liv and her brothers in living room, where they had been praying and singing over the house.
“No wonder the enemy came after you so hard,” Hailee told Ellecia. “You have power. God is going to use the things Satan brought against you as a weapon to set other women free.”
All the ladies of the Pineapple House agree. Ellecia is special, a particular component to the community God is binding together. Her pure heart allows her to see God and she exemplifies that facet of his character.
Likely she will be with us through the summer, growing in love, increasing in wholeness, seeking God’s direction for her calling. She is a pioneer, the first of many women God will bring through our doors.
Come meet the girl whose God is Yahweh; he’s fascinated by her, and so am I.